History Making Activation VK5/SE-010

We have had some early autumn rain so it is safe to start on my list of SOTA summits for 2017.

Tothill Range vk5/se-010 is not far from home and access is quite easy with just a phone call to the land owner to check if it’s ok to go there.

It’s a steady climb along the ridge heading south as long as you gradually gain some altitude as you go along the  path made by the Kangaroos and Sheep, it only takes about 40 minutes to make the summit.

Once you get up through the rocks for the last part of the accent it’s a good view out to the north and Porters Lagoon is full of water off in the distance.

These two Sheoaks have grown considerably since my first visit to this summit, that is Lagoon Hill off to the south the only other summit in the Tothill Range.

This is my shack for the Activation . I started out on 15/17 metres with the link dipole hoping to contact my Japanese friend JP1QEC who was also activating but a mix up in the time difference made me miss Mot this time. I did get a surprise when Peter VK3PF/4 called me on 15m CW for a S2S QSO from  VK4/SE-045 my first of many S2S for the day.

I set up the 40/20 m link dipole with 80 m extensions added and worked the local VK5’s MBD WG FMJC NWE on 3.6 mhz. Back to 40 m and lots of VK QSO’s followed on 40m SSB and S2S with VK1AD/2 VK3ANL VK1FWBD/2 and VK2IO on 4o m CW.  VK5BJE/3 VK3TUN were activating VKFF Parks . Changed band to 20 m CW to work a group of vk4 ops and another surprise was a call from Fred KT5X. I was checking my phone for spots and noticed NJ7V on 18 mhz CW activating W7A/AW-040 Arizona West,  sure enough I could hear him on 18.085 cw .  I had already taken down the 15/17 m dipole so just to give it a go the kx3 tuned the 20m dipole and I started calling him. Once I heard a pause then a  ..–.. from him I knew maybe he heard me. I may have confused him by including S2S with my  first call, so I went to work just sending my call sign only but it was not really working. I never had time to re deploy the 15/17 m  antenna so I joined up one of the 40 m links on the northern leg of the link dipole to make it an OCF. Much to my surprise he was able to get my call sign so then we went to work on the RST swap, he was 519 with QSB , I was hearing him quite well and he finally ended up sending  229 report back to me . That’s an almost impossible signal level, so I was glad he must be a very experienced cw operator and did not give up on my chance at a first VK5 to USA S2S CW QSO.

Yes !! that feels good.

Packed up ready to leave Tothill Range a memorable activation this time.

Thanks for reading and see you on the next one.

Ian VK5CZ . .


New Mount Campbell VK5/SE-007

Today was a special day as it is one year ago today my Mother died from Parkinson’s Disease and I was out on SE-007 that day activating so I thought it appropriate to be out there again today. It was a great day to be out, weather was really nice with a gentle southerly breeze at the summit just enough to fill the flags. 

After parking the SOTA transporter at the main gate it is about 2.5 km to the top from the entrance to Forest Departments land.

I find walking straight along the creek line once off the road the easiest path to take and you soon are in the old forest that is left after a big bush fire that destroyed probably 75 % of the forest a few years ago.

There is a dam at the end of a plantation of hardwoods and that is where you pick up another boundary track around the plantation of pines. This is where the pain begins as you make lots of gain heading up to the saddle of the range before heading south to the summit.

This time I must have been feeling a bit fitter as I made the gate in the old stone wall without too much puff and pain but stopped for a rest anyhow.

I got a photo looking north towards Jamestown from here and what a great view of the remaining forest that is left.

This time I activated south of the trig point because there was some shade from a few of the remaining pines right on the top and the old fence gave support to my squidy . Other times I have been on this summit it was really windy so I set up behind the stone wall out of the wind.

The Fire destroyed all of the pines on the eastern slope of the summit apart from just a few right on top so that was my shack for the day in the shade.

Used the KX3 and 20/40m Sotabeams link dipole and I made some local contacts with VK5WG and VK5NWE on the VX8G on 2 metres.

The SSB contacts were all on 40m and I got through to vk2 vk3 vk6 and vk7 then made some qso’s on 40m cw and got a nice surprise to get a call from ZL1BYZ on 20m cw near the end of my activation.

Total of 14 qso’s  with some double up qso’s on ssb and cw.

Thanks to all the chasers for the QSO’s today .

Vale Valery Joan McRae

thanks for reading my blog.

Regards from Ian VK5CZ ..